Algarve Bingo Players Fined By Police

"algarve news bingo"British and Irish residents and tourists have been fined by police in Albufeira after they were found to be playing a game of bingo in a local bar.

In total 28 British and Irish clients of the Yorkshire Tavern in Albufeira were fined by police for playing a game of bingo in the bar on Friday night.

The landlady of the bar, Marianne Pittaway has been fined €700 for being the host of the game that took place where the prizes included biscuits and drinks.

According to a report by the BBC Marianne Pittaway said she was “still in shock” following the incident which has also seen her being handed a four month suspended prison sentence for holding the bingo game in her bar.

She added that she would not be holding any more bingo sessions in the future.

All of the 28 people who were involved went to Albufeira count to face their charges of “exploitation of illegal gambling, illegal gambling and witnessing illegal gambling.”

Gambling in Portugal has very strict rules and only premises with a licence from the government are able to hold gambling.  This means that not only the people who hold the gambling are able to be prosecuted but all those involved and also anyone who was even just watching the game can be arrested.

Mrs Pittaway told the BBC: “I put on the bingo for some entertainment and a bit of fun.  We were only playing for some biscuits and drinks.

“One minute we were all playing, having a bit of fun and then we were just bundled off in three police vans and taken to the police station.”

Another person who was taken to the station was Lee Williams and Claire Fairhurst.  They were not involved in the gambling and did not have to appear in court and have been allowed to return to the UK.

Lee Williams told the BBC: “When we tried to leave three of the guys, who were armed police, actually made a barricade in front of us and told us we were not allowed to leave and that we had to go to the police station to be read our rights and that we were being arrested as part of an illegal gambling group.

He added: “I have had a lot of ribbing from my mates – I’m sick of hearing people saying “eyes down” or “full house” – you’ve just got to smile about it really.”

According tot the GNR the arrests came after an anonymous complaint was made about the bingo taking place in the bar.

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